(from January 2001)
PE Black Album
(from Davey D's FNV Newsletter)
I got an email from my good buddy Chuck D
about the Black Album Last week we reported that the group was in the studio
working on an album.. He noted that he's not working on an album at least not in
the way traditional albums are done.. He explained; "I just don't necessary
believe in the industry sanctioned, contractual required 12 song album...maybe a
DOORS like 7 cut piece or hot buttered soul like 4 cut lp with some 10 minute
plus track..gradually doing 1 cut at a time..." He concluded by noting
" with thousands of groups majors, indies and inties i feel enjoyment outta
checkin out new talent....people ask me all the time 'you in the studio?' when i
got 4 digital studios always working...the gap between those that really know
how this biz operates and the general public is so wide its kills me. I am
completely creating with no clock or obligation. Artist feel is where I'm at
presently and I'm cool with that..." Sorry folks I goofed
PE is Back in Black
(from Davey D's FNV Newsletter)
First Things First...It looks like Public Enemy is set to make a return to the
Hip Hop arena. They are hard at work in Atlanta recording what is being called
'The Black Album'. As has been the case in true PE fashion the album will touch
upon a blistering array of politically charged topics. One cut 'Son of a Bush'
is a revitalization of a song Chuck D and Professor Griff did with their new
band Confrontation Camp. They performed it last July during the Republican
Convention. Initially the song was more of a chant, but the new version will lay
down the social and political impact Bush's presidency will have on many in
America...Currently the group has a new track circulating around the Internet
called 'We Don't Need You' which was produced by up and coming producer Bill Tha
Pharmacizt out of Santa Cruz. Professor Griff in a recent interview with the
Source magazine noted that if Bush does what he did in Texas, America is in deep
trouble.. Many of the album's new songs will be performed with a band.
In addition to recording the new
album.. Chuck D will be in Washington DC today [Friday] to participate in an
Youth Speak out event....Known as Urban Campfire, this will be a big gathering
of Hip Hop artists, Civic Leaders and members of the Congressional Black Caucus
in Washington DC, at Cordoza High School to discuss pertinent social issues of
the day. It's called Urban Campfire Youth Speakout 2001 and it will included
Chuck D, Arianna Huffington, Mayor Anthony Williams, Mayor of Washington, D.C,
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (Rep. Dallas), and Congresswoman Eleanor
For those unfamiliar with Urban
Campfire Live, its a traveling talk show and concert event featuring celebrities
and performing artists who discuss today's social issues with young people.
Urban Campfire Live is specifically designed to allow young people to interact
with celebrities they know and look up to while being entertained, enlightened
and informed. Personalities well-known to generation Y offer their viewpoints
fueling the discussion through taped interviews, live panel discussions,
recorded music, live performances and video clips. For more info contact Kwame
Anku at 415.348.1023 or Lathan Hodge at Rapstation at 510.655.3166
1.19.01 Chuck D Is MLK
(from Davey D's FNV Newsletter) by Lorenzo
Usually the talks at the
Martin Luther King Jr. birthday program at Western Michigan University-Kalamazoo
are sparsely attended, and are deadly dull, but this year with more student
input on the planning committee, Chuck D, frontline rapper for the radical hip
hop group Public Enemy (and his newly-formed rap-rock group, Confrontation Camp)
was chosen as keynote speaker. Excitement (and fear and loathing) has been in
This caused an uproar among the
conservative political establishment of Kalamazoo, who apparently felt some
businessman, educator, or politician would be more appropriate to the occasion.
The staid Kalamazoo Gazette newspaper first disrespected Bro. Chuck D by mixing
up his picture with that of Public Enemy co-lead rapper, Flava Flav. To make
matters worse however, they questioned his intelligence and integrity to the
effect as "what could a rapper possibly say" that was relevant to the
nonviolent legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. They also claimed that the 1991
video "By The Time I Get to Arizona" advocated the murders of the
governor and white officials, and was "irresponsible and contrary to Dr.
King's beliefs." They obviously saw Chuck D himself as a real public enemy,
and he was coming to Kalamazoo.
In his talk tonight, he alluded
to these critical newspaper articles, pointing out that although he may be best
known as a hip hop artist, he in fact has been on the college lecture circuit
for over ten years, and had spoken at over 381 colleges. He indignantly pointed
out that he was a college graduate, and that as a rapper/musician was an
articulate person who fashioned together "lyrical poetry", not
mindless violent phrases. He also pointed out that for years he was a leader who
had spoken out about police brutality, racism, and the issues of the day for his
community and the poor. He said his voice has been heard on all manner of issues
effecting the Black community, and that he had a right to speak in honor of Dr.
King. He was clearly offended.
He pointed out that like Dr.
Martin Luther King, jr.- he respected the ethnic differences in people, and that
nowadays because of the pervasive culture of hip hop it was impossible to even
tell whether a youth in baggy clothes and hoods were Black, Asian, white or
He pointed out that hip hop had a
world wide reach, and was the major youth culture of this past century, more so
than even rock and roll. One of the major parts of his talk dealt with the
dominance of major record labels, which has pushed "gangsta rap" as
the dominant expression of Black youth culture. He said the Black innovators of
rap music have been almost forgotten or relegated to secondary status, while the
major corporations push people like Eminem, a Detroit white artist as the
current best selling rap star. He said this cultural theft of Black art forms
has historically happened over and over, aided and abetted by white music
He talked about how rap/hip hop
has been bastardized by major record companies, and many of the artists
exploited, and that this was why he had sought an independent approach with his
current music efforts, the internet and small labels. Chuck D is one of the
major proponents of computer distribution of music, called MP3, which allows
samples and whole albums to be sold and distributed online. He supported Napster
when it was legally attacked by the Recording Industry of America and major
labels in a lawsuit last year.
Finally, Chuck D talked about the
importance of Dr. Martin Luther King as a revolutionary, not just a pacifist,
saintly, or weak-willed person. He described King as tough-minded and fearless,
willing to confront racists eyeball-to-eyeball. He accused the government and
media of selling us a corporate King, to pacify our desires for freedom and
After speaking for 30-45 minutes,
Chuck D signed off to deafening applause. He had made his point and captivated
the crowd of over 3,000 persons, who hung on his every word. This was a racially
diverse crowd, mainly students, but also youth and adults from the community. He
had left a lasting impression, reached people who had never been reached, and
captured the imagination of youth who had never met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
but made the acquaintance of a strong fighter by the name of Chuck D.
1.16.01 The Net's Best Fans
(And the Artists They Connect With)
Back in the not so old days, pop stardom was a one-way trip. There was no way for musicians to share information, get immediate feedback, or even swiftly dispel rumors. And outside of the occasional fan club conference, there was no way for devotees to express themselves.
The Net changed that for good. Now artists can reach fans like never before: posting midnight thoughts on the Web, uploading unreleased demos or jumping into the mosh pit of online chat. As for the fans, the Net allows them to completely indulge their obsessions.
Not all artists excel at -- let alone even want -- such intimacy. But the ones who do have spawned some of the most passionate communities, from Prince's Newpowersoul Family to Pearl Jam's Jamily. In some cases, the fans have done most of the work (calling Mr. Slim Shady?).
Either way, here's our list of the most zealous online fan communities.
Artists (Alphabetical order) The Skinny
Tori Amos - Toriphiles rock each other while Amos brings up baby
The Beastie Boys - The Ill communication lines are open
The Beatles - Fab Four fans prove "1" isn't the loneliest number
Beck - Sissynecks and Jack-Asses know where it's at
David Bowie - The Sailor's crew download -- and bank! -- together
Dave Matthews Band - Warehouse dwellers "do it" better
Eminem - Slim Shady's crew stand up online, with or without him
Hole - Love her or hate her, Courtney takes care of her fans
Korn - From album covers to set lists, the Children call the shots
Marilyn Manson - The Antichrist Superstar lives online these days
'N Sync - Get ready for the ultimate virtual teenage riot
Offspring - It pays to be an Offspring fan . . . literally
Pearl Jam - The Jamily that grieves together, trades together
Phish - It'll take more than a hiatus to stop the phresh posts
Prince - The Newpowersoul Family follow the sun
- Believe the hype: among the Net's most savvy bunch
Radiohead - Cryptic rockers makes for cryptically cool community
Rage Against the Machine - With or without Zack, the Comrades rage on
Britney Spears - Britney fans -- and future husbands -- unite
Ween - All Ween, all the time for Ween weirdos
www.publicenemy.com (official), www.shutemdown.com
Chuck D is the digital "it" man, not just for the hip-hop crowd, but
for everyone. He's built the ultimate site (MP3s, vitriolic "Terrordome"
rants, videos, the works) for his fans and digital pundits, who look to Chuck
for wisdom. Chuck's a Web music institution, and P.E. people are some of the
smartest, most zealous fans out there.
Chuck D's Terrordome-esque column in Elemental Magazine called "On
the Real," which can be read at www.rapstation.com.
Public Enemy Writes:
"I celebrated New Years [in December] 'cause I think I need thirteen months
to get done what I need to get done in 2001."
1.15.01 Public Enemy To Drop New Album
(from The Source website) by Lynda Lane
Public Enemy will drop a new album this summer, titled The Black Album, according to group member Professor Griff. In usual P.E. style, the group will get political on a song about our new president, titled "Son of a Bush."
Griff told the SOURCE.COM The Black Album will definitely remind fans of P.E.'s legendary rap beats, but with a new edge.
"We're gonna take 'em back to the second album," Griff said while sitting in the group's studio, The Chamber, in Atlanta. "But this time we're doing it with a live band."
Griff describes one song they've completed, "Son of a Bush," as heavy. It talks about what Americans are in for as George W. Bush takes office as President. Griff, staunch as usual, remarks, "If he does for America what he did for Texas, people are going to be in trouble."
The new album, the Enemy's first since 1999's There's a Poison Goin On, will only be available through the Internet on the group's website www.publicenemy.com, Griff revealed. He added that a tour will only be likely if fans show extreme interest.
P.E.'s surprise performance at the FunkJazzKafe Festival in Atlanta Saturday (Jan 6) showed that the seminal rap group still has what it takes to rock the crowd.
Following a headlining appearance by UK "Soul Don" OMAR, Chuck D. and Professor Griff took to the stage in the wee hours of the morning and had folks banging their heads to a 15-song set of P.E.'s hype classics including "Public Enemy #1," "By The Time I Get To Arizona," "Burn Hollywood Burn," "Channel Zero," and "Shut Em Down."
to Dean's Tribute to Public Enemy (Main)